Postgraduate loans (PGL) for taught and research master’s students

If you’re coming to Manchester this year to begin postgraduate study, you could qualify for a loan from the UK government.

The maximum loan available for 2021/22 is £11,570; loans for courses starting in 2022/23 will increase slightly with inflation. Applications for courses starting from September 2022 will open closer to the time.

This postgraduate student loan is paid directly to you and is non-means tested.

The information on this page is about the loan available to UK students domiciled in England. There are different funding arrangements for UK students resident in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Islands


UK students resident in England

  • The loan is available to UK or Irish nationals, or those who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to remain so there are no restrictions on how long you can stay.
  • You must normally live in England.
  • You must have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland for three continuous years before the first day of your course, apart from temporary absences such as going on holiday.
  • UK applicants from Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man who move to England solely for the purpose of attending the course will not be eligible.

You may also be eligible if you’re a UK national (or family member of a UK national) who either:

  • returned to the UK on or after 1 January 2018 and by 31 December 2020 after living in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein;
  • was living in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein on 31 December 2020 and has been living in the UK, the EU, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein for the past three years.

If you’re an EU national or a family member of an EU national

You may be eligible if you’re an EU national or a family member of an EU national, and all the following apply:

  • you have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme;
  • you’ve normally lived in the UK, Gibraltar, EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein for the past three years (this is also known as being ‘ordinarily resident’);
  • you’ll be studying at a university or college in England.

You could also be eligible if you’re:

  • the child of a Swiss national and you and your parent have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme;
  • a migrant worker from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein with pre-settled status, or a family member of a migrant worker where both have pre-settled status;
  • a resident of Gibraltar who is a UK or EU national, or their family member.

You may also be eligible with another residency status, see the website for full details.

Other eligibility criteria

You may also be eligible if you are:

  • the child of a Turkish worker;
  • a refugee or a relative of one;
  • under humanitarian protection or a relative of someone who has been granted it;
  • staying in the UK as a stateless person or a relative of one;
  • 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years or at least half your life;
  • under 18 and have lived in the UK for at least seven years. 

Additional criteria

Students must be aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of the course.

You will still be eligible if you have a PGCE or postgraduate diploma or certificate.

You will not be eligible if:

  • you are already getting payments from student finance for another course that you’re studying;
  • you have received a Postgraduate Master’s Loan before, unless you received a Disabled Students’ Allowance, or you left your course due to illness, bereavement or another serious personal reason;
  • you already have a master’s degree or a qualification that’s equivalent or higher;
  • you’re behind in repayments for any previous loans from the Student Loans Company.

Course eligibility

Eligible courses at Manchester include LLM, MA, MEd, MBA, MEnt, MPhil, MRes, MSc, MSc by research, MusM.

Intercalating medical students taking a master’s course are eligible to apply. Medical students should note that if they plan to intercalate and take a master’s course between Years 2 and 3, they will not be eligible for UG tuition fee loans when they return to Year 3 of their medical degree. However, there will be no interruption to funding if they intercalate between Years 3 and 4.

Ineligible courses include:

  • postgraduate certificates/diplomas (eg PGCert, PGDip, PGCE);
  • Integrated undergraduate master’s (eg MChem, MMath);
  • Master of Architecture (MArch);
  • doctoral degrees (eg PhD);
  • those already funded via an NHS bursary, or a Social Work Bursary.


Courses can be studied:

  • full-time for one or two academic years.
  • part-time and last for two to four academic years (up to twice as long as the equivalent full-time course).
  • part-time for three years if it does not have a full-time equivalent.
  • via distance learning.


The UK repayment threshold will be £21,000 in the tax year 2020/21. Repayment amounts will be 6% of income above the relevant threshold. Students also repaying undergraduate student loans will repay both concurrently (total of 15% deduction from salary).

Interest will accrue at a rate of RPI +3%.

Repayments for PGL balances will start from 6 April following the academic year that the course is completed. 

Annual income before tax (£) 21,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000
Monthly income (£) 1,750 2,083 2,500 2,916 3,333
Monthly income above the PG threshold (£) 0 333 750 1,166 1,583
Undergraduate loan repayment (£) 0 0 20 58 95
Postgraduate loan repayment (£) 0 19 45 70 95
Total loan repayment (£) 0 19 65 128 190

Based on repayment thresholds and percentages for students who started an undergraduate degree on or after the first September 2012 (9% of income above £27,295 for undergraduate loans).

Full details explaining the repayment of postgraduate loans can be found on the Student Loans Company website

How to apply

Applications will open closer to the time for students who are starting courses in the academic year 2022/23.

You can apply online on the UK government’s website. We encourage you to apply as early as possible so that you receive your loan for the start of your course.

Please be aware that as part of the application process, you’ll be asked to submit information about your intended course of study and university. If you’re unable to see your chosen course at Manchester when applying online, please contact or call the funding team on +44 (0)161 676 1761 to discuss whether your course is eligible for a loan.

Find out more

You can find additional information on the loan via Find a Masters and The Student Room.